Festivals are lively events that bring together Tibetans from all over the plateau. The more than 100 major and minor festivals that take place throughout the year include horse racing, dancing, singing, praying, and displays of religious artwork.

Below is the schedule for Tibetan Festivals in 2018. If your travel schedule allows, it is worth arranging a trip to Tibet when festivals are taking place.

Festivals Region Dates (2018) Notes
Tibetan New Year (Losar) Lhasa/Kham/Amdo Feb 16th Lively one to two week festival celebrating the new year. Most important festival of the year.More info…
Monlam Prayer Festival Lhasa/Kham/Amdo Feb 19th-Feb 30th The Great Prayer Festival. Many pilgrims gather at the Jokhang and other monasteries. More info…
Butter Lamp Festival Lhasa/Amdo March 2nd Monks compete in building tall butter sculpture offerings. Commemorates Buddha’s miracle at Sravasti. Fires and lamps are lit.
Saga Dawa

(The holiest religious festival )

Lhasa/Kham/Amdo May 29th Important month for pilgrims. Birth, enlightenment and parinirvana of Buddha Shakyamuni.  More info…

Recommended trip:Saga Dawa Kailash Kora

Kalachakra day and Thangka Unveiling Lhasa/Shigatse June 28th A giant thangka painting is hung at Tashilunpo and famous monasteries, this is the Amitabha Buddha meditation,recitationof sutras and taking eight Mahayana precepts.
Zamling Chisang/Samye Dolde Lhasa / Samye June 28th Universal Incense Offering Day. Picnic, sing, and dance in the park and Tibetans go to the tops of local mountains to burn incense and hang prayer flags.
Choekor Duchen Lhasa July 16th Commemorates and honoring the day that the Buddha Shakyamuni first taught the four noble truths in Sarnath, India, and first turned the wheel of the dharma.
Gyantse Horse Race Gyantse County July 20th Horse & yak racing, dancing, singing, and games. This is the biggest festival in Gyantse
Shoton Yogurt Festival Lhasa Aug 11th- 16th Thangka unveiling at Drepung Monastery. Picnics and operas are held in parks, particularly under the trees at Norbulingka park. Bonfires at night.
Nagchu Horse Race Lhasa Aug 1-4th Horse & yak racing, dancing, singing, and games.
Lhabab Dechen Lhasa Oct 31st Festival observing the descent of Buddha from heaven.
Palden Lhamo Festival Lhasa Nov 23rd A float of Tibet’s protector deity Palden Lhamo is paraded through the city.
Ganden Ngachoe all Tibet regions Dec 2nd Memorial for Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelugpa school. Buddhists light lamps, make offerings, and pray.
Ganden Thangka Unveiling  Lhasa Ganden Aug 27th A giant thangka painting is hung at Ganden Monastery.
Jyekundo Horse Festival Kham – Yushu July 25-30 The biggest horse racing and yak racing festival in Tibet, Tibetan people all over the Kham region come for camp at Batang horse racing grassland, singing, dancing, enjoy the unique cultural festival.
Litang Horse Festival Kham – Litang August 1-5 Horse racing, circle dance, fashion shows.
Kumbum Monastery Festival Amdo April 28th Prayers, thangka unveiling, monks’ mask dance. This is also Amitabha Bdudha,meditation, recitation of sutras and taking Eight Mahayana Precepts, Kalachakra day
Ngawa Losar / Monlam Amdo Feb 28- Mar 2nd Horseback fashion show, strength contest, giant thangka unveiling.
Labrang Losar/Monlam Amdo Feb 28-March 2nd Commemorates Buddha’s miracle at Sravasti, thangka unveiling.
Repkong Losar / Monlam Prayer Festival Amdo Feb 19- Mar 2nd Commemorates Buddha’s miracle at Sravasti, village tea party, monks Cham mask dance,  Thangka unveiling and many other activities in Rebkong, Amdo Tibet.More info…
Repkong Shaman Festival Amdo Rebkong July 28 – Aug 4th Ritual demon exorcism, village Shamen dancing performance and Tibetan traditional dress showMore info…
Butter Sculpture Arts Exhibition Amdo Kumbum March 2nd (evening) Monks compete in building tall butter sculpture offerings. Commemorates Buddha’s miracle at Sravasti. Fires and lamps are lit. This festival is held in Kumbum, Rebkong, Labrang and Ngawa in Amdo Tibet